A Sense of Bridal History

“We are gathered here today to announce our newest exhibit,

 Love is in the air: A Sense of Bridal History”


Enter the front door of the Asahel Wright Museum and enter a world of peacefulness and joy. Enter a world where long standing tradition is celebrated.

Experience seven amazing bridal gowns, some grooms’ wear, all combined with the history of many wedding customs. Love is in the air: A Sense of Bridal History is the newest exhibit at the Asahel Wright Museum. The dresses exhibited are from 1860, 1873, 1890, 1922, 1949/51, 1960, and 1973. Seeing them displayed together truly shows not only changes in style, but changes in brides themselves through the ages.

Many of the traditions we treasure today had their roots in ancient times and cultures. As time evolved, these traditions did too. For instance, one constant has always been the importance of the bride’s dress. In olden days, she would wear her very best dress; a “one occasion” garment was not practical. The dress reflected the financial standing of the bride’s father which in turn represented the family’s position in society. Since weddings were essentially “business arrangements,” the bride was an asset who needed to reflect her family’s best qualities. Then in 1840, wearing white came into vogue when Queen Victoria married her cousin Prince Albert. Having a white dress suddenly symbolized wealth and status. Today, the bride’s dress reflects her own taste and personality.

Two of the gowns, the ones from 1860 and 1973, were recently donated and have never been viewed by the public. The rest of them are very unique; they were last on exhibit over ten years ago. Some of them are in extremely delicate condition and will be “resting” for quite a while after this exhibit closes in November 2019.

“I now pronounce you officially informed. You may come to the exhibit!”

For more information, contact Joellen Ulliman, Curator.


Starting on Saturday, July 6, the Asahel Wright Museum (including the Schoolhouse Museum and the special Sense of Bridal History Exhibit) will be open to the public from 11 - 2 on Saturdays. This summer special is made possible by Centerville-Washigton History members and volunteers so that more people may view the exhibits and learn about our rich local history. Entrance is FREE!